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The Arnott Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: SPERATUM ET COMPLETUM (Hopeful and Complete)

Let me share with you the historical background of your family name, Arnott. Your family name has territorial origins, derived from the lands of Arnott in Portmoak, Kinross-shire. According to George Black, your family has been settled there since the middle of the twelfth century, with Michael de Arnoth being recorded as the possessor of the lands in 1284. Alexander Nisbet, a heraldic authority, mentions that the Arnot family of that Ilk also held lands in Fife. In 1340, Michael de Arnoth was appointed as one of two knights accompanying Duncan, Earl of Fife, as an ambassador to England.

Throughout history, your family members held notable positions and made significant contributions. John Arnot served as the Archdeacon of Glasgow and Secretary to King James III in 1452. David Arnot, who was the Archdeacon of Lothian in 1502, later became the Bishop of Galloway. Sir Michael Arnot of that Ilk was granted a baronetcy by Charles I in 1629. His descendants pursued military careers and achieved high ranks for the following five generations. Your family remained steadfast Presbyterians and Covenanters during the seventeenth century. Sir John Arnot of Berswick signed the National Covenant in 1638, while Captain Andrew Arnot of Lochrig was executed for his involvement in the Battle of Rullion Green in 1666. The baronetcy is believed to have become extinct upon the death of Sir William of Arnot, who had no heirs, in 1782. In 1705, the Arnot estates were sold to Sir William Bruce.

There are other prominent branches of your family, including Arnot of Woodmylne, Balkaithlie, Balcormo, and Eastrynd. In the early eighteenth century, financial difficulties led the family to sell their tower and estate in Fife. They eventually settled in Kirkonnel, near Lockerbie. Dr. Archibald Arnott, a highly decorated military surgeon who served during the Napoleonic Wars, was posted with his regiment to St. Helena, where he was called to attend to Napoleon during his final illness. As a token of appreciation, the dying Emperor presented him with an engraved snuff box.

Hugo Arnott, who inherited the Balcormo estates through his mother and adopted the name ‘Arnott of Balcormo,’ was a renowned lawyer, antiquarian, and historian. In 1785, he published a work on celebrated criminal trials in Scotland and gained recognition as a notable character in the city of Edinburgh, as depicted in Kay’s Edinburgh Portraits. Another branch of your family resided in Arlarie, Kinross-shire, with Professor George Walker-Arnott being their most distinguished member. He held the position of Professor of Botany at the University of Glasgow in the mid-nineteenth century and made significant contributions to the field. His botanical library was acquired by the University and can still be viewed today in special collections.

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Family Crest Motto: SPERATUM ET COMPLETUM (Hopeful and complete)

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